Sultan to meet President Obama tomorrow for talks
Washington DC, United States of America - His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha, yesterday arrived in Washington DC, the United States of America for a four-day Official Visit.
Accompanying His Majesty and Her Majesty are His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik, His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Wakeel and Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah.
Present at the Andrews Air Force Base, Washington DC to receive His Majesty and Her Majesty were Capricia Marshall, Chief of Protocol, US Department of State, YB Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II and YB Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister's Office.
Also present were Dato Paduka Haji Yussof bin Haji Abdul Hamid, Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to the United States of America and spouse and Daniel Shields, Ambassador of the United States of America to Brunei Darussalam. Also present were officers from the State Department of the United States and from Andrews Air Force Base.
From the Andrews Air Force Base, His Majesty, Her Majesty and the royal entourage proceeded to the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, Washington DC.
On arrival at the hotel, His Majesty, Her Majesty and other members of the royal family were welcomed by the hotel manager James Ryan, Permanent Secretaries at the Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as the officers from the Brunei Embassy in Washington DC.
His Majesty is scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama tomorrow (March 12). Both leaders will meet at the White House and discuss preparations for the East Asia Summit and US-Asean Summit, which will be chaired by Brunei in October.
The two leaders will also discuss ways to move forward on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a region-wide free trade pact that Washington is pushing, a statement from White House's Press Secretary Office said.
"The US and Brunei have strong bilateral relations and have a shared interest in working together to ensure the continued peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region," the statement added.
The statement also said the US President looked forward to consulting with His Majesty on a broad range of strategic and economic issues of mutual concern.
Before meeting President Obama, His Majesty will hold separate talks with US Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, and US Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel.
This will be followed by a visit to the US Department of Defense Headquarters, the Pentagon, and later a meeting with US Secretary of State, John Kerry.
After meeting with the US President at the Oval Office in the White House on Tuesday, both leaders are also expected to give a press conference.
According to the White House, the visit underscores the strategic importance President Obama places on the Asia-Pacific region and to substantive engagement with its friends and partners in the region.
"It highlights the president's commitment to participating fully in the region's multilateral forums in order to foster cooperation, maintain stability and promote economic growth."
"The meeting of President Obama and His Majesty underscores the deepening of US-Brunei relations. Our two nations have increased collaboration in many areas, including education, security cooperation, and energy. The number of Bruneians studying in the US has tripled, the United States will be deploying naval assets for the ADMM+ exercise in Brunei this June, and the United States, Brunei and Indonesia initiated the US-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Partnership for a Sustainable Energy Future (USACEP) earlier this year," US Embassy Chargé d'Affaires Melinda Pavek said.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin